# GHC/Kinds

### From HaskellWiki

Kinds (this is not the definitive name) will be a language extension adding a kind level and some kind polymorphic support to Haskell.

## 1 What does this extension do?

Haskell defines kinds as `κ ::= * | κ -> κ`

. Nowadays, programmers use type-level computation more often using GADTs and type families. The need of a well-kinded type-level computation has become bigger. This extension provides a simple mechanism called *promotion* to populate the kind level.

Each time the user defines a *promotable* data type at the term level, he will be able to use it at the type level too. For instance, the user can write the following example:

data Nat = Zero | Succ Nat data Vector :: * -> Nat -> * where VNil :: Vector a Zero VCons :: a -> Vector a n -> Vector a (Succ n) data List a = Nil | Cons a (List a) data HList :: List * -> * where HNil :: HList Nil HCons :: a -> HList as -> HList (Cons a as)

## 2 How do I use it?

You first need to get the sources and checkout the branch:

$ git clone http://darcs.haskell.org/ghc.git ghc-kinds $ cd ghc-kinds $ ./sync-all --testsuite get $ git checkout ghc-kinds $ pushd utils/haddock $ git checkout ghc-kinds $ popd $ pushd testsuite $ git checkout ghc-kinds $ popd

You then need to edit your `mk/build.mk`

copying the `mk/build.mk.sample`

file and uncommenting the line stating:

#BuildFlavour = quick

You can now build the compiler:

$ perl boot $ ./configure $ make

Or run the testsuite:

$ ./validate

In both cases the resulting compiler will be located at `inplace/bin/ghc-stage2`

.

## 3 Which data types are promotable?

A data type is promotable if its type constructor and data constructors are. A type constructor is promotable if it is of the formAn simple way to decide if your data type is promotable is to see if you can write without the where-clause like this:

data T (a::*) (b::*) (c::*) = A a | B Int b | C (Either a c) [b]